The Day After... 

Beeing

 

by Lucy Pullen, New York

‘Oh last night I felt
immense!
Now I feel like
thirty cents.
There is no time for
mirth and laughter
on the cold, grey dawn
of the morning after.’
-George Ades

“I like the present tense, I really do,” Kathy said to Dan. “When you’re making a painting you can stay in the present tense, and not correct, just keep going. It’s great.” I was stung in the face by a honeybee yesterday my god! Such a range of sensation, from the cheekbone to the collarbone, for days on end, and for what? I’m not a bear. There’s traffic in and out of the hive. As I watched, a bee veered off course like a plane going down, making an unforgettable sound. A week later, standing with Tom in the midday sun the same thing happened. The sound came first, like a drunk driver in a cartoon, careening out of the blue. A bee it must be. Where? Tom ran across the lawn slapping his head. There. Right on the nose of the map of his face is a stinger. My ears still ring. As opposed to painting, welding, or drinking, the origins of Beeing remain unclear. Painters find images and stop painting; sculptors think through material; drinkers drink. Wax may flake off a bees thorax, but we don’t really know how bees think. Bright yellow, it smells fantastic; while I’m working with it a bee comes to the window. The next day I see unusual bee traffic, in and out, at the roofline. Correlating distances relative to the sun, sharing information through a series of specific movements, honeybees may have invented collective decision making. Do they think I’m a bee? Like the kid who outwits a menace by retracing footsteps in the snow, willing backwards is a process for redress. The past is not otherwise but the way of thinking about it changes, is otherwise. Like a bee who creates a world between imagination and reality.

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